Had to de-gunk dishwasher, should I tell owner?

On a sit right now, and enjoying the home and pet. Something that has happened frequently in the past is that the owners don’t have a routine for cleaning their dishwasher so my husband cleans the filter etc with baking soda and vinegar. All of the saucepans the owners had in their cupboards were greasy with remnants of food. The rest of the house is clean so we are finding it hard to imagine that the owners hadn’t noticed their dishes etc weren’t coming out clean. Normally I would let it go and not mention it but now we have this more specific review system on cleanliness, I am in a quandary. The lady of the house strikes me as having a fragile ego. Any tips how to deal with this and still be honest, greatly appreciated.

I guess you should, just to ensure that no stars will be docked in the review for cleanliness. :rofl:

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With the new blind review system, you don’t need to worry about their review anymore.

Anyway, your husband fixed the problem, next sitter will have clean dishes!

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I wouldn’t deduct any stars but I would mention it, privately, to the homeowner.


If the rest of the house is clean, then it might just be that their dishwasher is underperforming- could be due to age or gunk or a technical issue. Maybe they are just as annoyed as you are with their machine.
We were in a similar position once: Good, clean house, but a horrible dishwasher, I still get upset just thinking about it. Total waste of resources when it comes out dirty still.
I wouldn’t dock a star, but I would just ask if they also find the dishwasher underperforming?


Mention it privately. I just sat a house with a cuckoo clock that was silent only from midnight to 6 am. I suggested to the HO that she let future sitters know how to silent it for different hours or just silent it for the sit. She thanked me!


@Tuppence as @botvot mentions there could be a problem with the dishwasher. I’d mention it privately to the home owner on this basis.

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Hi, thanks for the info. I hadn’t realised it was blind. Been out of the running due to illness for some time.

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Good idea, thank you! And sorry to hear about your dishwasher problem.

Cheers, good advice.

Yea, I would tell them. Maybe they are like my husband who, in our new house, didn’t even realize there’s a filter in the dishwasher. (It’s ok, he cooks heavenly every day, I’m in charge of the clean up :grin:)


Good idea. Yes, in the past we’ve had owners grateful for pointing out issues. Just that these HOs have had numerous sitters, have no welcome guide, seemed dumbfounded by the idea that they would need one. I find it hard to believe that other sitters haven’t brought up the issue of the dishwasher and welcome guide before.

After a good clean the DW now works better. That would be a bit rich if I was docked for unclean pans. If it was a totally humorous issue I wouldn’t have posted the question BTW. Some house-sitters have health issues and after a year of serious illness I can do without dirty dishes and pans.

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Oh no, this is not funny at all. I’d say it’s tragic. Unfortunately, some sitters get stars docked for half-empty ice trays or other ridiculous reasons.

Like many have said I would mention it privately. On my last sit I made a list of the things we had done in my ‘goodbye’ letter or little things that had happened. For example, I wanted to make sure they knew we had put the recycling out but that the big cardboard lose cardboard hadn’t been taken; also they never mention squirrels getting under the roof tiles - they were really noisy and I was worried about any damage they might be doing up there - so I let them know in my note the squirrels were particularly active during the day time. I’d have stuck cleaning the dishwasher filter on my list to - with your handy cleaning tip of baking soda and vinegar. At least they might think, we must keep that clean in future.

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Not everyone knows that dishwashers need a clean now and again, and it’s so simple to pop in a cleaning solution nowadays.

Personally I wouldn’t knock off any stars if that’s the only thing that’s unclean, but let her know in a nice way ready for the next sitter she has. But with you saying she may be a little fragile, then tell her about it, but say you are still going to give her 5*s with everything else being great, then she won’t take it heart.


We generally send an end-of-sit note so the HO knows when we last did things like water plants, fill bird feeders, brush dogs, etc. If we do any fixes or notice any issues we’ll include those. I’d probably say something like:

It looked like it was time to do the regular maintenance on the dishwasher while we were there so we did X on (date) and it’s working great now.

No criticism, just fact.


Could you maybe say something like. Hey PP , its been a lousy few days of weather so while hanging out with the fur kids cabin fever got to us. I hope this is okay we did some deep cleaning since we were hanging around (explain what you did).

OR Hey PP we noticed that the dishwasher wasn’t getting things as clean as it should so we took some extra care and cleaned (explain) it seems to be cleaning much better now.

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Thank you, that sounds a great idea. We will be seeing them rather than leaving a note so that’s a diplomatic way of saying it.

Thanks for taking the time to reply and your useful tips! Really does help.